The Effects of Temperature and Precipitation on Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) Abundance: A Case Study in the Greater Waco City, Texas
The southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus Say is a major mosquito vector of West Nile virus in the southern United States. The regional temperature and precipitation are key factors to the population dynamics of the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus. The understanding of the relations between climatic conditions and Culex mosquito dynamics has an important implication for the management of WNV outbreaks in the southern United States and elsewhere. We analyzed the monthly averages of minimum and maximum temperatures, precipitation amount, and mosquito samplings in two years 2011-2012. Warm temperature along with at least above precipitation during the study period appears to have facilitated the mosquito abundance. An important finding is the potential influence of early warmer spring with relatively high rainfalls increased the WNV vector population in 2012. In addition, continuous precipitation in the summer period maintains the vector population, which appears to be a causative factor of the WNV outbreak in the region. Awareness of such two climate factors at beginning of the spring and summer may help to predict the WNV disease risk.